December 14, 2018

Farewell Message by the Past President

Dear RC33 members,

Since the last World Congress, we have a new board, and as can be seen from the results of the elections below, all candidates have been confirmed in their office, so in the name of the whole of RC33, I congratulate the new board and look forward to their endeavours in the next four years which will be important in many ways:

First of all, all over the world, the number of societal challenges has been increasing in the last decades, calling for empirically founded sociological expertise – and for this, sound methodological knowledge is needed. Secondly, as the World Congress has shown, sociology as a discipline has seriously started to try to decolonize sociology and also to integrate theoretical and methodological perspectives from various world regions, including the Global South. Thirdly, digitalization is currently fundamentally changing societies and also yields new methodological challenges. In order to address these challenges, social sciences methodology not only has to combine and mix qualitative and quantitative methods but also to further develop digital methods and to discuss which methods are applicable for different substantial and cultural contexts.

In the past eight years, we have aimed at addressing this breadth of challenges, and these efforts have shown first results: At the last congresses, there have not only been many sessions on digital methods but also on a broad variety of other qualitative and quantitative methods. We have organized sessions with other RCs in order to discuss, if special fields of sociology need special methods. Most importantly, the number of countries our members come from is increasing, and we have introduced the format of “Regional Conferences”. The “First RC33 Regional Conference on Social Science Methodology” in Taipei (Taiwan, 2017) was a big success and has resulted in increasing our Asian membership base. This reflects in our new board which is both thematically and regionally much more varied than it was eight years ago. That RC33 is growing again, is a good sign that we are moving in the right direction.

All in all, this is a good base to start from, and the new board has presented many ideas during the World Congress on how to improve RC33 and make our discussions even more interesting.

In this sense, I want to congratulate all new board members and look forward to the methodological discussions in the next years.

Nina Baur

(RC33 President)

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